Community leaders and residents of Feru Village in the Ado-Odo Ota area of Ogun State have again called for help from the Ogun State and Federal government following the destruction and demarcation of the only access road that links the community to town.
The road, which was singlehandedly constructed by one Alhaji Gbenga Ibuoye after his Laterite mining firm, Ibuoye Nig. Ltd. was granted a license to operate on a piece of land he purchased in the community, was reportedly vandalized by some hoodlums and land grabbers allegedly with support from some men of the Nigeria Police Force on January 20, 2021, at about 7 pm.
Witnesses claimed to have seen a team of police officers providing protection while the criminals had their way. The Ota Division Police Area Commander, Muyideen Obe, confirmed the development to our reporter on phone saying they acted on instructions from the Inspector General of Police.
Residents lament the untold hardship and stress they face since the delineation of their only access road.
Speaking to journalists, Bolaji Muyideen, a landlord in the community, expressed displeasure over the damaging of the road saying this has brought serious unimaginable travail on residents in the village. His words, “Since they blocked this road, life has been so difficult for us in this community. I don’t know why some people can be so wicked and block the access road that everybody is passing, and put military men there to be shooting gun so that they’ll scare people away”.
A bread seller and Feru resident, Karounwi Adekanbi, also condemned the act of the land grabbers. According to her, her business collapsed as a result of the road demarcation as that is the only route through which she can deliver her goods to her customers. She said all the goods she bought a day before the road was vandalized, perished due to her inability to deliver them. She called on the State Government to please come to their aid to prevail on those responsible for the act.
Efforts to speak to the Police officers at the site proved abortive as they directed us to the Ota Area Commander for any details.
According to the owner of the mining site, Alhaji Ibuoye, “it’s been close to a month now that they stationed some police officers to block this road and my mining site despite my valid license and other documents to show. We’ve been asking to policemen who sent them, till this moment, they’ve refused to tell us but only directs us to call the Ota Division Area Commander, the Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone 2, but those too also denied knowledge after we called them on phone”.
He said, “Just three days ago, we realized that they have started erecting Fences at both ends of the road, and brought a signpost purportedly by Winners Chapel. When asked, the bricklayer who they contracted the job to claimed he was sent by one Oluomo who happens to be known to be a notorious land grabber from a neighbouring Itele community”
“So what is the interest of these officers who have been here for up to 30 days now on a land matter and who stationed them here? This is what brought me and the community representatives here today”. Ibuoye stated.
Barrister Kabir Alabi, a solicitor to the land owners spoke. “We understand that what is going on here is a pure land grabbing act being supervised by Alhaji Nurudeen Adeoye, with the help of Kabiru Odunsi and one Oluomo of Itele. All their effort is to actually grab this family land. Now, because again the family resolved that they want to create a road from here to Itele to make it accessible for the people of this community which residents here can testify to having reduced their burden of longer alternative routes, now under the supervision of Kabiru Odunsi, Kazeem Ajiboye and Oluomo, a road that was constructed with over One Hundred Million Naira, was damaged using tractor”. “In other to cover their acts, they stationed police on the land”
“Despite all the security challenges in the country, a troop of police officers is stationed here with the knowledge of the Commissioner of Police, Police AIG and the Inspector General of Police, over a land issue thereby depriving the legitimate family owners the access to their property. Is this Justice?” He asked.